England nip New Zealand by four runs

MOEEN Ali was chosen as man of the match as England overcame New Zealand by four runs in Wellington to take a 2-1 lead in the best of five one-day worldwide series.

New Zealand were still ahead in the game when Rashid dismissed Munro to reduce them to 80-2 in the chase.

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson, who scored his 11th one-day century, however, combined with Mitchell Santner to halt the slide and then gave the hosts hopes of achieving a remarkable win with a 96-run partnership.

But Curran made sure New Zealand still needed 15 off Woakes' final six balls and, despite lashing a six over deep square leg, Williamson could not get them over the line.

It meant England won by four runs and seized a 2-1 lead in the five-match series.

'It was a poor delivery from Woakes which Williamson hit over mid-wicket - but England did so, so well to win that game, especially after posting that total.

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He faced 143 deliveries and was in the middle for most of the New Zealand innings after the early dismissal of Martin Guptill for three. "To get us to a point where we had a chance to win was testament to his quality". Lefties Mark Chapman, Tom Latham and Henry Nicholls went in quick order before Colin de Grandhomme played a shocker, lofting Moeen Ali straight to long on, and at 103 for six England were firmly on top.

Only three England batsmen - Joe Root, Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler - looked remotely comfortable, in different ways.

Morgan was the first man to show any mastery of the pitch, reaching his 48 from 71 balls with three fours and a six one of only two sixes in the innings. England have never won an ODI at this venue and the last time they played New Zealand there was during the 2015 World Cup when the visitors were embarrassed, bowled out for just 123 with New Zealand chasing it down inside 13 overs.

'They were losing the game when the Kiwis were cruising, but the spinners bowled well and the seamers backed them up at the death'. Starting off in our innings, we were in a position of strength after 15 overs or so, then we stumbled a bit in the middle which really hurt us. Excluding Sodhi, Boult took two wickets and Southee and Grandhomme took one wicket each. Here, it was just enough.'A brilliant game of cricket' - what they saidEngland captain Eoin Morgan to Test Match Special: "It took us a while to get going and it felt like we were batting with the wrong end of the bat".

But Morgan was certain Santner had been legitimately caught when he clipped a Moeen Ali ball to Roy at midwicket in an incident similar to a denied catch in a Twenty20 match against Australia in Hobart last month.

"They weren't great balls or anything".

  • Megan Austin